It started with a piece of torn wallpaper. My Aunt Staci had stopped by to visit, and I told her about my plans to strip the wallpaper in the living room. Aunt Staci is like the Martha Stewart of our family, except she’s nice and has no felonies. And she is the queen of DIY home stuff. She examined my living room walls and unceremoniously ripped one loose edge of wallpaper, revealing a jagged scar of yellowing wallpaper backing. “Oh yeah, some liquid stripper will take this right off.” Now I absolutely had to remove the wallpaper. I’m not a fastidious person by nature, but there is something about half finished projects that drive me to drink more wine than usual. And ripped wallpaper is the worst.
Taking Aunt Staci’s advice, I used DIF wallpaper stripper (four bottles, to be exact) and the wallpaper did peel off, much like a wet paper bag. I was lucky – there was only one layer of wallpaper in the living room. In my past pre-divorce life I had rented a wallpaper steamer, which worked just as well as the DIF, though it cost more and was kind of pain to set up and clean up. The real benefit of the steamer was that you only had it for a finite amount of time – like 48 hours – so you had to finish in a timely fashion. As it was, the wallpaper stripping on Boxshop lingered for one, long, painful week. I worked on it for the better part of a Sunday and then every evening after work for an hour or two – I just didn’t have the energy to do more. By the following weekend I was so grumpy and irritated at the half finished walls I gave up the first Saturday of my vacation to finish it. Eight hours later, the walls were scraped and wiped clean (for like the 18th time) patched, sanded, primed, and ready for paint. In an added fit of manic hysteria – something that always ensues when I start big projects- I also pulled up the old carpet.
The living room remodel sucked up the bulk of my vacation, but the results were totally worth it!
On Monday I tackled the stairs. I’m still not sure what I am going to do with them – but they look loads better without the 1990’s teal green carpet that had been stapled to them.
Tuesday was paint and trim.
Wednesday was the lake at Mt. Blue State Park.
Thursday was more trim. I thought I could touch up the existing baseboard color from a can of leftover paint in the basement. Turns out the paint was totally congealed. So, I bought what I thought was a close shade – wrong! But I was NOT going back to the store for more paint.
Friday was polishing floors and rearranging furniture.
“It was a lovely room.” – Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Have you been doing any remodeling this summer?